You cannot turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper lately without being bombarded by people telling us to claim back PPI. Many of them do not however, take the time to explain exactly what PPI is, why it has affected so many of us or why it is important that we try and claim it back.
What is PPI?
Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is a type of insurance provided by money lenders when you take out a loan, credit card or mortgage. Its purpose is to provide financial cover should you become ill, injured, unemployed or redundant. Should you be unlucky enough to fall victim to one of these circumstances, PPI should be able to meet the remaining payments you owe your lender until you can return to work.
Why Is PPI a Bad Thing?
Given that its function is to protect us, it may seem odd that the press is branding PPI as a bad thing. The fact is; it is not a bad thing if the recipient has asked for PPI. The reason for all the outcry is that in many cases, the individual borrowing money was not made awarethat they were purchasing PPI or the terms of the agreement were unfair or poorly explained. In a time where most people have to be keeping a tight rein on their spending;millions of people having splashed out hundreds – or even thousands – of pounds on unwanted PPI suddenly makes all the fuss seem justified.
Who Can Claim?
Various companies have emerged to try and help people claim back miss-sold PPI. In their efforts, they have outlined exactly what PPI is and who is entitled to try and claim it back. Generally, situations where people can claim back PPI include:
- Customers who were not made aware that they were paying PPI.
- PPI policies that were not utilised.
- Cases where PPI was made compulsory.
- PPI policies that ignored existing health issues.
- Policies that did not provide cover for the unemployed.
- Cases where the PPI cover did not last for the entire length of the loan.
Should I get Help?
With so many organisations offering helpto claim back PPI, you may ask what exactly it is that they do. If youopt to have someone help, you often just need to fill out a claims form with basic info about yourself and then sit back and wait. At most you may have to sign a pre-prepared form they send or speak briefly to one of their advisors on the phone but you will not have to contact your bank or lender personally and can let the claims company do all the leg work. Being experts and knowing all the correct protocol, your chances of a successful claim are arguably greater but most of these companies offer a ‘no win, no fee’ payment system where if they cannot get your money back, you do not have to pay them a penny.
Can I do it myself?
People who decide to make claims often automatically assume they need to use a claims company but it is possible to do it alone. When the whole point of the PPI scandal is that consumers have paid out money they did not want to; some would argue that paying out more money to try and get other money back seems somewhat backwards. With some wanting as much as 30% of your settlement from a successful claim; boycotting the middleman and making the claim yourself is definitely a viable option.
You would need to dig out your paperwork and check the details of your policy to see if you qualify, then contact your lender directly, via phone or letter, requesting a refund. If your bank rejects you, the next step involves contacting an ombudsmen; the official, free service for resolving financial disputes.
Going it alone is without doubt the more time consuming of the two options but allows the greatest monetary reward upon victory but whichever route you decide to take, PPI is considered one of the nastiest hidden charges to hit the public in recent times and making a claim is definitely worth it.